Matthew Pennock

    –Ecrit par L’Automate de Maillardet    

From the long view, the wetlands stun me—

                patches of long grass sway

like dauphinesses lost in a troubadour’s voice.

But up close, Mademoiselle,
                        the green is sickly.

Old tires and gnarled rust protrude,
        orphan shrubs of oil and mud.

I lie in it anyway,
                for a little while,

feel the softness of earth.
Once the one-eyed girl whispered a story:

She found a garden behind a tenement,
        a small garden with a few sad carrots.

She lay among them and covered her face with soil,

then planted a single seed
                        above her socket.

As she spoke, her blushing impelled me

to draw her a ship.

I hoped she understood I meant to take her away
one day, away

from this soot-black city
of regret and excrement

to a fertile land where from every branch,

like fattened fruit, hangs a single green eye.

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